2.20.2012

Location, location, location

Last night I moved my crazy cabinet into my bathroom. I didn't think there would be enough room but there was and it looks FANTASTIC there. Yay!

It matches with the bright yellow paint, doesn't it?

Next step is to figure out the shelves and finding some storage options for soap, bath stuff, etc. And maybe some new towels. I currently have blue and brown damask towels... Not the best fit for the harlequin motif on the cabinet.

2.19.2012

Home sweet home for my repurposed wood pallet

Today I moved my cabinet from my parents' laundry room to my place. I'm not sure where I'll put it. It actually will fit in my bathroom which was my original idea. I'll take some time to find the perfect place. So happy to have it FINALLY complete!

Here are some shots of the final piece.

BEFORE

After a few months and a bunch of DIY steps, I have a funky cabinet using a wood pallet and some table legs from the dump.



Here are the many steps it took to get to my finished project...

IN PROGRESS

Taking the wood pallet apart then joining and planing the pieces...

Drilling the sides and back together...

Inserting the table legs into the bottom...

Sanding the top of the legs so they sit flush...

Assembling the cabinet...

Adding the shelves...

Adding the vinyl...

Painting the pattern and staining the top...

Adding a coat of varathane...

AFTER





2.18.2012

Bring on the varathane

Today I finished up my cabinet. First I shabby chic-ed the legs and the edges. I like how the shabby chic finish helps define the design of the legs. This cabinet is quite the odd duck, isn't it?

Next I got out the varathane and started on the top and worked my way down.

I added some pencil crayon to the edges of the triangles to help define the edges. The varathane definitely gives the acrylic paint a richness.

Here's the cabinet all done. Tomorrow I'll get it home and find a place for it. Then I can add stuff to the top and to the shelves.

Next project will be these cars. I know I want to paint them bright colours but I'm not sure how much detail to add. We'll see how it goes. I'm looking forward to making them fun and cute!

2.15.2012

Feeling the upcycling love

Hope everyone had a FAB Valentine's Day and is feeling loved, appreciated, etc. I know I am! So many great friends & family in my life and so many wonderful things going on... Lots of possibility out there!

I had a pleasant surprise yesterday morning - my goodie bag tutorial got posted to Recyclart! Yay! Recyclart features nifty products that are made from recycling, reusing, upcycling, etc.

I submitted the goodie bag tutorial last week on a whim and it got posted. I'm not the best these days at promoting my projects - I want to get better in the future. So many link parties on other DIY/crafty blogs and so many opportunities to get featured on other sites. Sometimes ya gotta love the internet! And sometimes it's fun to share what you're working on and see that you're not completely kookie when you cut up old wool sweaters and turn them into other 'items'!

Here's the Recyclart homepage with my goodie bag tutorial...

Another 'feature' to add to my list... Recyclart... Canada Arts Connect Magazine...

And the Arts Office enewsletter...

What's next?! I have some ideas for my cabinet project once I get it done this weekend. Can't wait to finish it off and see what craziness will happen next!

2.12.2012

It must be a labour of love

What a weekend! Talk about busy... Lots of nerdy stuff, crafty stuff, friend stuff. I'm pooped!

Today and yesterday I worked on my cabinet. I managed to get the finish close to complete. FINALLY! So yes this is a labour of love this project. Lots of time, energy, sweat and a few tears!

Here's the cabinet yesterday - vinyl et al. What a mess!

And here are the triangles all good to go minus the vinyl. I spent a long time cleaning up the paint - making sure the edges were clean and that the colours were solid, etc. Sucks to be picky! I went over and over AND over the paint to make sure it was perfect.

You can see the natural wood triangles. This is one of the side panels...

And this is the back panel...

The cabinet is pretty much done now. I stained the top again, cleaned up the painting on the side panels and back panel. Next step is to shabby chic the cabinet then add a coat of varathane.

Hopefully it'll be easy breasy to get this piece home then I can add 'stuff' to the shelves. Pyrex? Books? Frames? Who knows!

Project Update

I sanded my wooden cars yesterday. I'm not sure how I'll paint these but they definitely will be painted. The shiny shellac finish is uber ugly!

Here they are all primed and ready to go!

Looking forward to next weekend when I can shabby chic my cabinet. Yay!

2.09.2012

My upcycled sweater goodie bag tutorial

Here's the tutorial I wrote for the Monthly Maker feature on Canada Arts Connect Magazine. A Valentine's Day goodie bag made out of upcycled sweaters. Post a comment here to win one of the goodie bags!

Step 1: Materials

For my goodie bag, I want to use upcycled wool sweaters. I found these at my local thrift store for a few dollars each. I felted both by washing them in hot water. Felted wool sweaters are great for making pillow covers, baby booties, iPhone sleeves and now goodie bags! It's a fun way to repurpose a wool sweater that's worn out.

Other supplies you'll need:

    * Felt pieces
    * Embroidery thread
    * Ribbon
    * Regular thread

The ribbon, felt and embroidery thread can be found at Michaels or any other craft supply store. The regular thread can be found at any sewing supply store. I bought bright colours and a lot of pink since these are for kids and for Valentine's Day.

Step 2: Making a Pattern

Next you'll need to design a pattern. Since it's Valentine's Day, I drew a heart-shaped pattern for my goodie bag. The approximate dimensions of the bag will be 8 inches wide and 7 inches high. I wanted it to be big enough to hold quite a few treats!

I also wanted to add some text to the bag. I usually go to http://www.DaFont.com to browse for a font that will work with the design and that would be legible once I stitch it on to the piece. The addition of text is optional.

Step 3: Cutting Your Pieces

Usually I cut out an outside piece and an inside piece. I'll be adding some felt applique to the front of my bag and like using an inside piece to 'cover' all of the threads. If you're not going to add felt applique or don't want to add an inside piece to your bag then only cut out a front and back.

Since my pattern is not symmetrical I've made sure to check that my pieces are cut correctly by flipping the pattern so the front and back pieces line up.

Below I have 8 pieces cut - one of my bags will have a plain grey outside and the other will have the striped outside. Both will have a pink inside.

Step 4: Adding the Felt Applique

For the felt applique, I cut out the pieces then pin them onto the front of my bag. I also pinned the text I want to stitch onto the bag.

Feel free to skip this step and keep your bag plain. Or maybe use your sewing machine to add some flair to the bag. Here's the felt applique and stitching I added to the striped goodie bag.

Step 5: Sewing the Outside and Inside Pieces Together

Next I sew the outside and the inside together. The stitching along the sides helps as a guide when I stitch the front and back together.

First I pin the outside and inside pieces together - the striped wool with the pink felt for the inside. I also pinned my ribbon for the handle. You can use a bigger ribbon or anything else for the handle. I'm adding it now since I'll sew it onto the bag. I love how the white dots on the pink ribbon work with the striped wool!

Now it's time to pull out your sewing machine. I've decided to use turquoise thread for the grey wool bag and a light green thread for the striped wool bag. Get crazy with the colour!

I usually add a 1/4-inch seam. The seam will be on the outside and not the inside of the bag. This gives the goodie bag that handmade feel plus acts as a guide for when you stitch the front and back together.

Step 6: Stitching the Front and Back Together

We're close to done! Now we pin the front and back together. At this point, it should be easy breasy! The top pins are where I'll start and end the stitching. Make sure you leave enough room at the top to add your treats to the goodie bag.

Here's the buttonhole stitch... A fun turquoise thread that works well with the grey wool and pink felt. You can see I've lined up the front and back and then used the stitching as a guide for the buttonhole stitch. This is the most relaxing part of the project for me.

If you don't know how to do a buttonhole stitch, there are tons of resources on the Internet... Even video tutorials on YouTube! Try practicing first - remember you can always remove the stitching and start again.

Here's the completed goodie bag - see how the buttonhole stitch adds a lot of fun to the bag! I also made sure to reinforce the beginning and ending of the stitching. This is where the bag will take some wear and tear.

Step 7: Adding the Goodies

I decided to buy some treats from a local chocolate store called Cinnamon's Chocolates (http://www.cinnamons.ca) - a couple of packs of hot chocolate mix, a chocolate whale sucker, a couple of chocolate hearts, a 'love' chocolate and then some jelly bellies.

Here's both of my goodie bags with yummy treats in them. I hope whoever gets these likes them! Maybe even feels the Valentine's Day love.

2.05.2012

The never-ending project may have an end

I took the plunge! I started on the painting of my triangles on the outside of my cabinet project this weekend. I've gone with an off-white base with accents of mustard yellow, robin's egg blue, grey and black. It's starting to look pretty darn swanky!

Yesterday I revisited the size of the triangles. I made them larger. I also made the triangles on the back larger than the ones on the sides. I thought the difference in sizes may add a bit more interest.

First step was to cut out vinyl for the areas I wanted to leave au natural. Love the free vinyl I got from work. It's been so handy!

Then I primed the outside of the cabinet and added some mustard yellow triangles.

I added some vinyl to protect the top of my cabinet during the painting process. I also added a darker stain to the top while I was waiting for the primer to dry. I'll add more of the darker stain once the painting is done. The wood is pretty light so adding a dark stain will help bring out the grain in the wood.

Here's where I left the cabinet this afternoon. Next weekend I'll finish up the painting then work on the stain. I'll also shabby chic the cabinet a bit. Once that's done then I'll add a coat of varathane and be done! So close! FINALLY!

Can you believe the above cabinet was made out of a wood pallet and some table legs from the dump!